Today’s Halloween guest post is from JL movie buff Katelyn Barbee:
Katelyn Barbee is a Phoenix college student by day and a writer by night. When not working on her fantasy series, you can find her at the cinema catching the latest flicks or enjoying a nature walk when the weather is nice. Her publications include “The Miller’s Daughter” in From the Stories of Old and “The Solstice Beast” in Whispers in the Shadows.
In 1988, a group of kids come face-to-face with the town monster and face their own demons in the process…
I’ll be honest; I’ve never read Steven King’s It so I can’t vouch for how faithful an adaption it is, but I can say it’s a damn good film.
The acting is top notch, in particular, the main child actors (who come together and form the Losers Club). There is a distinctly 80’s Spielbergian vibe throughout the film, similar to Netflix’s excellent Stranger Things, balancing terror with genuine emotional stakes for the characters as well as the audience.
Bill Skarsgård does an excellent job in making the role of Pennywise the Dancing Clown his own. In a very chameleon-like performance, he’s able to switch from comically goofy to alien and monstrous in less time than it takes to blink.
Also worth a mention is Henry Bowers, the main bully and serial killer in the making who terrorizes the Losers at any opportunity he gets (and also is partly responsible for their uniting). In some ways, he’s a worse villain than Pennywise because we’ve all known someone like him who’s made our lives a living hell.
If I had to quibble with anything, it’s that certain members of the Loser’s Club aren’t given enough screen time to get to know them beyond their given roles within the group. Characters appear then disappear for a while until they’re needed again.
The film is also less scary than I originally thought it was going to be and a couple of moments come off as more humorous than I think they’re intended to. Or maybe I’m just hard to scare. In some ways, it’s more about the traumas of childhood and overcoming them than about a creepy clown who hunts down children.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for a film that’s got both heart and decent frights, I’d recommend it (pun intended).
Like Stephen King? Check out this review of Misery.